Too young and too dumb: part 2

No one ever taught me how to be a son. It’s what I’ve always been expected to be just by being born into this world, but no one taught me how to fulfill this social role. Further, how was I supposed to know that this role would change over the course of one day, my 21st birthday, which I wasn’t even home to experience?

I live with my dad for about 5 months of the year, while the rest I spend living on my university campus, soaking up the independence I’ve gained over the last three years. That kind of independence is what I share with my peers, but I’ve always been more of an independent person than most. How is it that someone like me, so young and so dumb, has been able to grow up so fast?

I find it all too common for young people my age to have conflict with the same sex parent. Daughters resent their mothers and sons resent their fathers. As an adult son, I’ve been trying to work through my feelings toward my father that have developed over my childhood so that our relationship as two adults can be rooted in love and understanding. It’s extremely difficult, though, dealing with my emotions when I have an emotionally absent father. Or is it the other way around? Does he have too many mood swings? Have I lost the ability to feel? Have I never formed an attachment?

I watched the film Life As A House once today already, and I’m currently watching it now. Honestly, I could have cried several times throughout the film—if I could actually cry ever. I have these romantic notions of a perfect father/son relationship, and I know it will never happen for me. I don’t have a father like George, someone who wants to pursue me, and I’m too resolved to the fact that my father will never know me intimately. We can’t communicate on the same level—I guess I’m always trying to be better than him. Dad cries and wallows in depression because he sees himself as a failure. As much as I tell him he isn’t or doesn’t have to be, I also believe it’s true. So, I have to be “better.” I think some walls between us are just permanent, that we could never tear them down and rebuild a beautiful relationship. We’re simply individuals, he in danger of losing everything and I just starting life.

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